CEO of Steam, Billionaire Gabe Newell, Comments on NFTs, Play-to-Earn Gaming, and Crypto

On the release day of Valve’s new product, the Steam Deck, a portable handheld gaming device, Gabe Newell was interviewed by Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Although the main focus of the conversation was on the console, the CEO of Steam briefly satisfied the curiosity of the crypto gaming community as well.  

The interviewer asked Newell a reasonable question about the reason Steam is staying steadfast on blockchain nonacceptance while the rest of the gaming industry expresses interest in the technology.  

Newell claimed that though the technology may be promising, it largely relies on how people use it. So far, the space seems to be too volatile and plays host to, in his words, “a lot of sketchy behaviors.” Therefore, Steam views the decision as less protecting users from the technology itself, and more as protecting them from those people “viewing it as an opportunity to rip customers off, or engage in money laundering, or other things like that.” 

Here are some explanatory quotes for you from Mr. Newell:  

"You have to separate the underlying technology versus which actors are utilising that technology. It's like, if you're a chemist, and you're looking at nitrocellulose, you're like “Oh, yeah, we can do some really interesting stuff with that.” 

"...It's much more about the actors than it is about the underlying technology, or the rationale for what we're doing. Similarly, at one point Steam was accepting cryptocurrencies for payments. And it turned out that it just made customers super mad." 

"Similarly, with the actors that are currently in this NFT space, they're just not people you really are wanting to be doing business with. That doesn't say anything about the underlying technology..."


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